PREMIERE: “Holding on to Now” | Brett Altman Reminds Us All to Live in the Moment
We’ve all had a lot of time to think lately. Whether we’re fretting over our futures or dwelling in our past, singer/songwriter Brett Altman offers up a reflective indie/pop track underscoring the importance of the present.
“‘Holding on to Now’ is about living in the moment, a task which has always challenged me,” says Altman. “If you were able to see inside my head, you would find that I’m typically preoccupied with my past or focused on some unknowable future. I suppose we all do this, as we try to process our lives and determine if we’re on the right track. The problem with this philosophy is that if we are so consumed by our own thoughts, we will miss out on the beauty of the here and now.”
For a lot of us, here and now might be a place we want to forget—given the present circumstances. Altman maintains that now more than ever, we need to appreciate the moment.
“Especially during this pandemic, it can be difficult to stay off our phones or remain grounded during our daily activities, but I’ve made it a practice to embrace what’s right in front of me,” he tells hMAG. “This song is my mantra and north star, and I hope it can serve listeners in the same way. If we can collectively spend more time in the present, I’m optimistic we will have stronger relationships and more meaningful experiences.
Altman collaborated with writer/musician/producer Max Feinstein on this track.
“The song originated from an idea I had back in 2014 which originally saw a brief flirtation with John Oates as a collaborator, but we eventually shelved it,” said Feinstein. “After working with Brett on his initial releases, I was compelled to dust the song off and have another go.”
Altman and Feinstein began working together in the summer of 2018 at Max’s studio, Silver Horse Sound, in Hoboken.
“During that first session, we wrote a cheerful pop/rock song about living in the moment. We brought Max’s band into the studio to record a demo, but we didn’t have a second verse and the song sat idle for months,” said Altman. “During this time, my grandmother sadly passed away. I was left to think about all our memories together and noticed most of the recent ones were quite fuzzy. I realized that I wasn’t paying close enough attention to our final interactions. I took them for granted. Needless to say, I was awfully disappointed in myself. This experience drove me back to the song, and I ended up changing its overall tone and sonic landscape to more properly reflect my feelings on the subject matter. This process led us to the version you now hear today.”
Altman shared with us his future plans for “Holding on to Now.”
“I am going to be releasing an official music video for this song on New Year’s Eve. We filmed the whole video in Hoboken/Jersey City and readers of hMAG should see some familiar sites throughout. To get an early sneak peek of the video, readers can join my e-mail newsletter community here: https://mailchi.mp/5a55897f0709/brettaltmanmusicnewsletter
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